By Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2021

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Two Santa Fe art groups say they’ll complete and debut a mural designed to bring people together during the pandemic, despite graffiti damage found on it just before Christmas.

KRQE-TV reports the painting featuring animals, color, hints of New Mexico and a central figure homage to the Tewa people is a collaboration between multimedia education group All Aboard Earth and Playful Passages, an expressive arts therapy practice.

All Aboard Earth co-founder Jonathon Meade said creators were disappointed and saddened to find graffiti on a work that aims to convey senses of togetherness, happiness and “upliftment.”

He said they believe there should be more outlets for artists in Santa Fe.

Playful Passages founder Hannah Rapp called the mural an effort to bring people together, and said its creators would prefer to talk deeply with the graffiti taggers “about our feelings so that we all feel heard.”

The mural was commissioned with coronavirus relief funds and a mini-grant from the City of Santa Fe.

Meade said it will be completed in coming days.

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